Hello World, This Is My Business
With 5.7 million SMEs in the UK, as of 2018, small and medium-sized enterprises are in abundance on the market. Together, they represent over 99% of all businesses, making them the most common occurrence on the market.
As a business owner, you’re more likely to compete against similar-sized companies than large corporations.
However, don’t believe that small competitors are a lesser threat. On the contrary, same-sized competition is your most significant growth obstacle. Indeed, if you put yourself in your customers’ shoes, you need to understand what the market looks like for an outsider. In a sea of similar brands – aka SMEs – getting your business to stand out is a challenge of every day. Indeed, from the audience perspective, there is nothing that differentiates an SME brand from another. If you want to get noticed, you need to design an effective differentiation campaign that can push your business to the market.
However, at an SME level, differentiation is not as much about your services and expertise – with 5.7 million competitors, it’s hard to imagine that your offering would be completely unique – but about how your help the market to remember your brand.
With almost 96% of SMEs running with a team of 10 employees or less, it’s fair to say that making your brand stand out needs to be part of a careful strategy. You can’t afford to dedicate a full-time workforce to your brand promotion on top of other activities. You need to target market approaches that can have a long-term impact on the market with minimum effort.
Get visible otherwise nobody will know your name
At the heart of getting your brand’s name out there, there’s the assumption that your brand can stand for itself. Indeed, in a competitive environment, you need to give your brand a fighting chance of gaining visibility. The market is a crowded place, which implies that businesses have to seize every opportunity to differentiate their presence at ground level. Your visual identity – in other words, your logo — acts as an attention catcher.
It is vital for small businesses to be able to present unique and easily identifiable logos. Indeed, if your visual representation is too similar to the ones of other brands, it’s likely customers may not realise they are dealing with a different business.
A brand doppelgänger is the last thing you want!
Your visual identity interferes with multiple market layers. Indeed, similar logos, alongside with similar names, can lead to confusion in your social media presence and even your mobile presence if both companies have an app. Ultimately, if you want to get noticed, you need customers to identify your business from others at a glance. Additionally, creating unique content, that you can share on social media and via your website can also play a significant role in shaping your presence, by giving your logo additional depth.
Never approach a new B2B client without careful introduction
When you’re in a customer-facing position, you can maximise personal interactions to ensure your brand makes a positive impression on your audience. However, when your SME targets a B2B market, the odds of utilising personal interactions to gain leverage in a competitive environment are very low. Instead, small businesses need to consider alternatives to propel their brands at the heart of their clients’ structure.
More often than not, a combination of a brief introduction of your company, your services, and a pitch offer tends to be the preferred approach with business owners. In a public or private pitching context, it’s not uncommon to use a powerpoint or keypoint presentation as an introduction of a brand. Unfortunately, in a B2B environment, PPT presentations are one of the most frequently used – and therefore ignored – first approach strategy. Instead, presenting a more lively format such as making a DVD of your business story and services with an expert such as Perfect Image Video, can be a game-changer. Indeed, a DVD with a menu would not only lets your brand shine but also allows potential clients to choose the order in which they want to interact with your information.
Help search engines to remember your name
A user needs to come across your brand several times before the name sticks. Consequently, your online presence management needs to focus on staying relevant to your market. Within your local market, you can encourage local users to remember your name by ensuring that your business is registered with Google Maps. The process is not only free, but it only gives your brand an additional platform. Additionally, using the Keyword Tool in Google AdWords – another free tool – you can identify relevant search terms that you can use in future content creations. Developing content for your site increases the number of potential hits per search, as long as you get the site indexed via the Search Console – formerly Google Webmaster Tools.
Making sure your community remembers you
It would be foolish from any business to assume that they are too small to make a difference in their community. As an SME, you rely on your local community for support, brand awareness, and talent search. Giving back to your community is about strengthening your connection and raising your influence. Thankfully, SMEs have more than one way to give back without breaking the bank. Sharing your knowledge via free workshops to encourage others can establish your business as an expert, for instance. Similarly, you can sponsor a local event such as at the local youth sports club, for example. Such sponsoring activities are likely to fit within a company budget.
Find your local Kim Kardashian
Last, but not least, you need to find an influencer who can boost your online presence. Finding and convincing social media personalities is hard work, but your mistake is to focus on large-scale influencers when your SME should instead stick with micro-influencers. Because localised social media personalities have a small audience, they are more likely to be a good match for small businesses.
Hi market, it’s me.
Getting noticed when you’re a small brand is all about ensuring that your audience has more than one way to find out about your business. From managing your logo display to exploring new pitching strategies, SMEs are redefining brand differentiation.
© New To HR